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Google targets Office365 with upcoming mobile UC app
by Paul Davenport Paul Davenport on

In our 2020 Enterprise App Report Card, we touched upon the fact that Microsoft’s comprehensive Office 365 suite of enterprise productivity and collaboration tools is relatively unrivaled among AppNeta customers in terms of sheer users. But the software pioneer may soon be facing some stiff competition from another nearly-ubiquitous tech giant, as it was recently announced that Google is looking to bundle and streamline it’s collection of business-oriented apps into a packaged suite akin to Office 365.

The new mobile app will more directly target the unified communications (UC) aspects of Microsoft’s business solutions – specifically, improved video conferencing and messaging functionality via an overhauled Hangouts offering. Google currently offers the G Suite for businesses, which includes Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Meet, and unlimited storage in Drive.

Details on the new solution first emerged publicly when Good Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian spoke at a conference of Google salespeople and business partners in mid January, where he announced that the mobile application was already being tested out internally.

While it’s unclear how the new mobile app will interact with Google’s standalone app offerings – or whether or not some tools will be retired in favor of others – it’s not uncommon for the tech giant to take a hatchet to their app portfolio in an attempt to reduce redundancies. Many of their legacy applications had overlapping functions, for instance, which pushed Google to kill it’s mobile email client Inbox, as well as WhatsApp clone Allo, over the past few years.

With Hangouts, however, Google is taking a different approach by retiring the classic version of the app and spinning out two new variants – Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat – that are tailored more toward enterprise and business clients’ need for performant voice, video and messaging platforms.

This isn’t surprising, as Google Cloud CEO Kurian has made it very clear since coming to Google last January after a long stint at Oracle that it’s his mission to attract Fortune 500 companies across industries to Google’s services. Bundled packages like the new mobile UC app are increasingly the preferred app strategy for enterprise IT departments, as they reduce the number of individual app licenses that teams need to keep track of.

That said, no app suite, no matter how comprehensive the offering, is going to be the perfect fit for all users across the enterprise. Whether employees in some departments require additional specialized tools to complete their work, or individuals have simply found an easy-to-deploy SaaS alternative that they prefer to what’s approved by IT, teams need to take steps to make sure apps leveraging network capacity aren’t sapping up unnecessary bandwidth.

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Filed Under: industry insights

Tags: enterprise IT, enterprise, Microsoft Office, Microsoft, Office 365, enterprise applications, applications, SaaS, UCaaS, unified communications, UC, Google Cloud, Google, cloud computing, cloud, network performance monitoring

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